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Re: [carfree_cities] Modelling Cities in 3d with Google Sketchup (Free)

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  • Markus Heller
    Hi Chris B, if I understand your eco town design correctly, all the grey streets between the row houses are for private cars. That would mean, there is no
    Message 1 of 9 , Jun 5, 2008
      Hi Chris B,

      if I understand your eco town design correctly, all the grey streets between
      the row houses are for private cars. That would mean, there is no reason for
      carfree people to move in such a town. It seems your focus was only on
      separating cars from pedestrians.
      That`s nice, but I would not move in a such a town, it`s quite similar to my
      small street where I live: in front I have a conventional small street, with
      very few and slow cars, and my back yard is carfree (even without passing
      pedestrians). So your design is no improvement of my situation, rather the
      opposite ...

      Beside that, I expect that your separation idea would create less safety.
      Please consider this under the experiences of the Shared Space idea: They
      mix all traffic modes together in the same street, remove all signs, and
      that forces the people to take care for each other ... separation makes car
      drivers care-less, that`s what we learned the last hundred years.

      What I want instead, is a real carfree town, or quarter, where the (still
      necessary) streets are dedicated only for exceptions like emergency
      services, police, maybe the transport of waste, and big deliveries (all
      these kind of exceptions, until we find better solutions). In that case
      extra paved lanes for pedestrians are not necessary. (But still possible, of
      course.)

      Another point: As your whole town is still designed for the needs of car
      owners, that means at the end, mobility services (bike rent, hand carriage
      rent, etcetera) are not economic, because not enough carfree people (if any)
      would live in your town. And the car owners will use their cars as long as
      it is possible and as long as they reach every destination, like in your
      design ...

      Maybe it is a cultural thing: In Europe "carfree" means: "no car", or
      sometimes "all cars at the edge" (btw, that`s only "optically carfree"). I
      was very surprised to hear from a case in US where "carfree" was used for
      "only one car" (instead of two or more cars before).

      - ?

      We know that politicians and developpers use the term "eco town" for every
      group of buildings with some solar panels on the roof, but in my personal
      view, this term should be reserved for the real thing - without private
      cars. We may debate about Car Sharing and Taxis, but at the end, the
      ownership of the private car is the crucial point.

      Sorry for beeing so direct (or misunderstandings ?), but we need to move
      towards carfree cities !

      thanks for understanding, best

      Markus Heller, Berlin
      Carfree Living Berlin Collaborative
      www.autofrei-wohnen.de

      P.S.: see examples of carfree developments in my recent presentation:
      http://www.carfree.org.uk/040


      ----- Original Message -----
      From: jackskellin9ton
      To: carfree_cities@yahoogroups.com
      Sent: Thursday, June 05, 2008 4:47 PM
      Subject: [carfree_cities] Modelling Cities in 3d with Google Sketchup (Free)

      Hi,

      Just wondering if anyone else has tried modelling towns and cities in 3d
      with Google Sketchup, a (fairly) easy to learn 3d modelling program you
      can download for free at

      http://sketchup.google.com/

      You could import, say, one of Joel's district designs and rescale it.
      Then you just draw around the edges of the blocks, use the offset tool
      to draw the inside of the blocks automatically, and then use the
      push/pull tool to make them 3d with 1 click. And once you've finished,
      you can go for a 'walk' around.

      I've just finished modelling my eco-town with it. You can see a pic of
      the whole town at

      http://myweb.tiscali.co.uk/doubleplus/cloverleaf_city/ecotown/index.htm
      or zoomed in pics at

      http://myweb.tiscali.co.uk/doubleplus/cloverleaf_city/ecotown/density.htm


      Chris B
    • jackskellin9ton
      Hi Markus, My website is a response to the UK government s plans to build 10 new eco-towns. Now if they were going to make all 10 completely carfree then that
      Message 2 of 9 , Jun 6, 2008
        Hi Markus,


        My website is a response to the UK government's plans to build 10 new
        eco-towns.

        Now if they were going to make all 10 completely carfree then that
        would be brilliant. But, being rather pessimistic by nature, I'm
        guessing we'll get at most 2 carfree eco-towns and 8 - 10 towns with
        pedestrian centres surrounded by houses with driveways.

        My website is basically showing the government what to do with these
        8 - 10 non-carfree towns.

        I don't like the shared space idea. One of the main problems with
        car-focused developments is the vicious circle of the more people
        drive, the worse public transport, walking and cycling become, so
        even more people drive.

        My design keeps the pedestrian network functioning well no matter how
        many people drive.

        And driving cars around the town would absolutely be discouraged.
        Parking outside of your own driveway would be expensive, particularly
        in the central car parks which are there mainly for residents of the
        carfree centre. And roads are low capacity, slow and almost always
        very indirect.

        Cars would be mainly for travelling outside of the town. As much as
        I love public transport, UK public transport outside of London is
        pretty terrible. And of course there'd be car sharing.

        Also, from a design point of view, I figure it's easier to take roads
        away, making some of the town's streets completely carfree, than it
        is to put them in later.

        So to sum up, if you're going to build carfree towns and cities, then
        you should build them first. If you're not, I'd much prefer a design
        like mine with carfree streets than to share my path with cars.


        Chris


        --- In carfree_cities@yahoogroups.com, "Markus Heller" <heller@...>
        wrote:
        >
        > Hi Chris B,
        >
        > if I understand your eco town design correctly, all the grey
        streets between
        > the row houses are for private cars. That would mean, there is no
        reason for
        > carfree people to move in such a town. It seems your focus was only
        on
        > separating cars from pedestrians.
        > That`s nice, but I would not move in a such a town, it`s quite
        similar to my
        > small street where I live: in front I have a conventional small
        street, with
        > very few and slow cars, and my back yard is carfree (even without
        passing
        > pedestrians). So your design is no improvement of my situation,
        rather the
        > opposite ...
        >
        > Beside that, I expect that your separation idea would create less
        safety.
        > Please consider this under the experiences of the Shared Space
        idea: They
        > mix all traffic modes together in the same street, remove all
        signs, and
        > that forces the people to take care for each other ... separation
        makes car
        > drivers care-less, that`s what we learned the last hundred years.
        >
        > What I want instead, is a real carfree town, or quarter, where the
        (still
        > necessary) streets are dedicated only for exceptions like emergency
        > services, police, maybe the transport of waste, and big deliveries
        (all
        > these kind of exceptions, until we find better solutions). In that
        case
        > extra paved lanes for pedestrians are not necessary. (But still
        possible, of
        > course.)
        >
        > Another point: As your whole town is still designed for the needs
        of car
        > owners, that means at the end, mobility services (bike rent, hand
        carriage
        > rent, etcetera) are not economic, because not enough carfree people
        (if any)
        > would live in your town. And the car owners will use their cars as
        long as
        > it is possible and as long as they reach every destination, like in
        your
        > design ...
        >
        > Maybe it is a cultural thing: In Europe "carfree" means: "no car",
        or
        > sometimes "all cars at the edge" (btw, that`s only "optically
        carfree"). I
        > was very surprised to hear from a case in US where "carfree" was
        used for
        > "only one car" (instead of two or more cars before).
        >
        > - ?
        >
        > We know that politicians and developpers use the term "eco town"
        for every
        > group of buildings with some solar panels on the roof, but in my
        personal
        > view, this term should be reserved for the real thing - without
        private
        > cars. We may debate about Car Sharing and Taxis, but at the end, the
        > ownership of the private car is the crucial point.
        >
        > Sorry for beeing so direct (or misunderstandings ?), but we need to
        move
        > towards carfree cities !
        >
        > thanks for understanding, best
        >
        > Markus Heller, Berlin
        > Carfree Living Berlin Collaborative
        > www.autofrei-wohnen.de
        >
        > P.S.: see examples of carfree developments in my recent
        presentation:
        > http://www.carfree.org.uk/040
      • Ed Beale
        Hi Chris, I have just read through the whole of your ecotownZ website. I think it is great and very comprehensive in covering all the issues. I agree that this
        Message 3 of 9 , Jun 6, 2008
          Hi Chris,

          I have just read through the whole of your ecotownZ website. I think
          it is great and very comprehensive in covering all the issues. I
          agree that this town form would be very much preferable to what we
          currently have in Britain, but that a fully carfree city would be
          still better. Of the different layouts you show, I prefer Alternate
          Design #2
          (http://myweb.tiscali.co.uk/doubleplus/cloverleaf_city/ecotown/more/car-lite_eco-town.htm)
          because it separates out the car parking so that people don't have
          individual driveways and a car sat right outside their house. I think
          it's likely that far more people would then decide to live completely
          without a car, or would use a car club, especially if the eco town
          centre has good rail links further afield. Also, as you mention, this
          design would be easier to convert to be completely carfree, either in
          its entirety, or in one or more carfree quarters.

          Best Wishes,
          Ed

          Ed Beale
          Carfree UK
          http://www.carfree.org.uk/


          --- In carfree_cities@yahoogroups.com, "jackskellin9ton"
          <jackskellin9ton@...> wrote:
          >
          >
          > Hi,
          >
          >
          >
          > Just wondering if anyone else has tried modelling towns and cities in 3d
          > with Google Sketchup, a (fairly) easy to learn 3d modelling program you
          > can download for free at
          >
          > http://sketchup.google.com/ <http://sketchup.google.com/>
          >
          > You could import, say, one of Joel's district designs and rescale it.
          > Then you just draw around the edges of the blocks, use the offset tool
          > to draw the inside of the blocks automatically, and then use the
          > push/pull tool to make them 3d with 1 click. And once you've finished,
          > you can go for a 'walk' around.
          >
          > I've just finished modelling my eco-town with it. You can see a pic of
          > the whole town at
          >
          > http://myweb.tiscali.co.uk/doubleplus/cloverleaf_city/ecotown/index.htm
          >
          <http://myweb.tiscali.co.uk/doubleplus/cloverleaf_city/ecotown/index.htm\
          > >
          >
          > or zoomed in pics at
          >
          >
          http://myweb.tiscali.co.uk/doubleplus/cloverleaf_city/ecotown/density.ht\
          > m
          >
          <http://myweb.tiscali.co.uk/doubleplus/cloverleaf_city/ecotown/density.h\
          > tm>
          >
          >
          >
          > Chris B
          >
          >
          >
          > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
          >
        • jackskellin9ton
          Just wanted to say thanks to Markus and Ed for their input. You re right. I got so carried away trying to sell carfree towns and cities to the car driving
          Message 4 of 9 , Jun 7, 2008
            Just wanted to say thanks to Markus and Ed for their input.

            You're right. I got so carried away trying to sell carfree towns and
            cities to the car driving masses that I forgot about the hardcore. :)

            I'll be adding a car-lite/carfree section soon.

            Cheers,

            Chris
          • spenniec
            Hi Chris I have just started using Sketchup and am a big fan of the software and Joel s vision of a car free city. My view is that means NO cars. Pleople walk,
            Message 5 of 9 , Jan 14, 2009
              Hi Chris
              I have just started using Sketchup and am a big fan of the software
              and Joel's vision of a car free city. My view is that means NO cars.
              Pleople walk, wheel, cycle or travel by train.
              I would be very interested in starting up a group/community to bring
              his vision to 'life' in 3D using Sketchup.
              Anyone else interested or knowing of an already similar project then
              please post.

              cheers
              Spencer

              --- In carfree_cities@yahoogroups.com, "jackskellin9ton"
              <jackskellin9ton@...> wrote:
              >
              >
              > Hi,
              >
              >
              >
              > Just wondering if anyone else has tried modelling towns and cities in 3d
              > with Google Sketchup, a (fairly) easy to learn 3d modelling program you
              > can download for free at
              >
              > http://sketchup.google.com/ <http://sketchup.google.com/>
              >
              > You could import, say, one of Joel's district designs and rescale it.
              > Then you just draw around the edges of the blocks, use the offset tool
              > to draw the inside of the blocks automatically, and then use the
              > push/pull tool to make them 3d with 1 click. And once you've finished,
              > you can go for a 'walk' around.
              >
              > I've just finished modelling my eco-town with it. You can see a pic of
              > the whole town at
              >
              > http://myweb.tiscali.co.uk/doubleplus/cloverleaf_city/ecotown/index.htm
              >
              <http://myweb.tiscali.co.uk/doubleplus/cloverleaf_city/ecotown/index.htm\
              > >
              >
              > or zoomed in pics at
              >
              >
              http://myweb.tiscali.co.uk/doubleplus/cloverleaf_city/ecotown/density.ht\
              > m
              >
              <http://myweb.tiscali.co.uk/doubleplus/cloverleaf_city/ecotown/density.h\
              > tm>
              >
              >
              >
              > Chris B
              >
              >
              >
              > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
              >
            • J.H. Crawford
              ... I ve been thinking about this project for more than ten years. Part of the work was done recently by Procedural, a Swiss outfit that released software to
              Message 6 of 9 , Jan 15, 2009
                Spencer said:


                >I have just started using Sketchup and am a big fan of the software
                >and Joel's vision of a car free city. My view is that means NO cars.
                >Pleople walk, wheel, cycle or travel by train.
                >I would be very interested in starting up a group/community to bring
                >his vision to 'life' in 3D using Sketchup.
                >Anyone else interested or knowing of an already similar project then
                >please post.

                I've been thinking about this project for more than ten
                years. Part of the work was done recently by Procedural,
                a Swiss outfit that released software to construct detailed
                virtual cities. (The film industry is very interested.)
                The stuff costs $7000. There's a free 30-day trial. I'm
                waiting until the decks are clear, so that I can spend
                every minute of 30 days with it.

                I want to automate the process, with a page or two of inputs
                that allow you to specify a whole range of parameters along
                with the range of random variation for each parameter. Each
                time you press the button you get a different city, even with
                the same inputs.

                Outputs would include 2D and later 3D graphics plus a thorough
                statistical summary of the result, including resource inputs
                required to build and operate the city.

                http://www.procedural.com/

                http://www.nlynch.com/pages/47/procedural_city_builder/

                http://www.3daet.com/pages/805/l-system_city/


                So, yeah, consider me interested.

                Best,

                Joel





                ----- ### -----
                J.H. Crawford Carfree Cities
                mailbox@... http://www.carfree.com
              • J.H. Crawford
                Hi again, Add to links on this: http://www.gamesitb.com/SurveyProcedural.pdf Best, Joel ... J.H. Crawford Carfree
                Message 7 of 9 , Jan 15, 2009
                  Hi again,

                  Add to links on this:

                  http://www.gamesitb.com/SurveyProcedural.pdf

                  Best,

                  Joel


                  ----- ### -----
                  J.H. Crawford Carfree Cities
                  mailbox@... http://www.carfree.com
                • spenniec
                  Very intersting! The ability to use procedural methods to generate streets and buildings would certainly save a lot of time. I ll download the software this
                  Message 8 of 9 , Jan 15, 2009
                    Very intersting!
                    The ability to use procedural methods to generate streets and
                    buildings would certainly save a lot of time.
                    I'll download the software this evening.
                    $7000 certainly puts it out of the reach of a community to purchase.
                    They have some pretty good press, however it looks like a new product
                    and there's nothing like a good showcase of what your product can do
                    along with some great publicity which could definitely be generated.
                    What are the thoughts on sending them an email asking for an unlimited
                    copy for free? They'll want assurances that we aren't going to spread
                    it around the internet or benefit from it commercially, purely for it
                    to showcase a vision of post car cities.
                    If you don't ask, you don't get :-)

                    cheers
                    Spencer


                    --- In carfree_cities@yahoogroups.com, "J.H. Crawford" <mailbox@...>
                    wrote:
                    >
                    >
                    > Spencer said:
                    >
                    >
                    > >I have just started using Sketchup and am a big fan of the software
                    > >and Joel's vision of a car free city. My view is that means NO cars.
                    > >Pleople walk, wheel, cycle or travel by train.
                    > >I would be very interested in starting up a group/community to bring
                    > >his vision to 'life' in 3D using Sketchup.
                    > >Anyone else interested or knowing of an already similar project then
                    > >please post.
                    >
                    > I've been thinking about this project for more than ten
                    > years. Part of the work was done recently by Procedural,
                    > a Swiss outfit that released software to construct detailed
                    > virtual cities. (The film industry is very interested.)
                    > The stuff costs $7000. There's a free 30-day trial. I'm
                    > waiting until the decks are clear, so that I can spend
                    > every minute of 30 days with it.
                    >
                    > I want to automate the process, with a page or two of inputs
                    > that allow you to specify a whole range of parameters along
                    > with the range of random variation for each parameter. Each
                    > time you press the button you get a different city, even with
                    > the same inputs.
                    >
                    > Outputs would include 2D and later 3D graphics plus a thorough
                    > statistical summary of the result, including resource inputs
                    > required to build and operate the city.
                    >
                    > http://www.procedural.com/
                    >
                    > http://www.nlynch.com/pages/47/procedural_city_builder/
                    >
                    > http://www.3daet.com/pages/805/l-system_city/
                    >
                    >
                    > So, yeah, consider me interested.
                    >
                    > Best,
                    >
                    > Joel
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    > ----- ### -----
                    > J.H. Crawford Carfree Cities
                    > mailbox@... http://www.carfree.com
                    >
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